Flow of Defendants’ Products Into State Did Not Establish General Personal Jurisdiction

The World in U.S. Courts: Winter 2018 - Personal Jurisdiction/Forum Non Conveniens | November.17.2017

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Flaherty v. Lidestri Foods, Inc., US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, November 17, 2017

Plaintiff Flaherty was injured in a workplace accident and brought suit against multiple corporate and individual defendants for negligence. He was injured while installing food processing equipment at Lidestri Foods’ facility in New Jersey under a contract between Lidestri and his employer, while employees of two other companies, Cheer Pack and Guala Pack, were supervising him. Cheer Pack, Guala Pack, Inc., and Guala Pack, S.p.A. filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Flaherty only argued that the defendants were subject to the Court’s “general” personal jurisdiction, but the Court found that none of them was either incorporated or had its principal place of business in Pennsylvania, which are the principal criteria to be applied. The Court also rejected Flaherty’s argument that the Defendants’ “sheer output of products in Pennsylvania” rendered them “at home” in the State and therefore subject to general personal jurisdiction, finding the shipment of goods germane, if at all, to the question whether the defendants were subject to the Court’s “specific” personal jurisdiction.

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